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Author Topic: I spy...with my little eye...on my hard drive...  (Read 4813 times)

Innuendo

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I spy...with my little eye...on my hard drive...
« on: February 17, 2012, 02:46:39 PM »
I see the last time we had a meaningful discussion about desktop search programs was, well...a billion years ago.

I'm looking for one because I'm tired of doing long non-indexed searches all the time when I'm looking for something. Unfortunately, I'm one of those who Windows Search and Everything isn't going to work for because I've got the majority of my files on a NAS. Everything doesn't work with NASes and Windows Search....Microsoft says if you want to index networked content to use the Work Offline feature. Only problem with that is "Work Offline" is synonymous with "copy those files to my hard drive". Ummm....I don't want to copy 3 TB of data to my PC. That's why they are sitting in a NAS. Thank you very much, Microsoft.

I'm trialing Copernic right now...it seems to do the job, but there are the signs of a memory leak afoot. I was going to growl about the pricing...$50 seems like a lot of money...till I saw X1 Desktop Search. It's $50 & if you want upgrades there's a $20 charge on top of that.

So does anyone know of any other desktop search programs than can index network shares that won't cost an arm and a leg? A modern interface that shows file previews & doesn't look like it was programmed for Windows For Workgroups would be a major plus.

Maybe I should just rip the drives out of the NAS and put them in my PC? I'd be giving up a lot of functionality, though....and then there are all the reports that people say Everything and Windows Desktop Search don't show them all their files.

tranglos

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Re: I spy...with my little eye...on my hard drive...
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2012, 02:56:23 PM »
Locate32 (free) works fine for indexing my NAS drive, and another one on Firewire. Like Everything, it indexes filenames only, not the content of files.

For contents, Archivarius (€ 29 for a personal license) works very well with NAS, too. It has a somewhat quirky, old-school interface, but is very fast and relatively easy on resources. Does show a (text-only) file preview.


Darwin

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Re: I spy...with my little eye...on my hard drive...
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2012, 09:07:43 AM »
I use a combo of Windows Desktop Search, Archivarius and dtSearch. dtSearch is amazing, but four times as expensive as X1 (though I haven't paid an upgrade fee in four years). I got an academic discount on it which resulted in it being as cheap as Windows Desktop Search... Archivarius is very good and probably what I'd recommend in your situation.
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

kunkel321

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Re: I spy...with my little eye...on my hard drive...
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2012, 01:02:53 PM »
I use a combo of Windows Desktop Search, Archivarius and dtSearch. dtSearch is amazing, but four times as expensive as X1 (though I haven't paid an upgrade fee in four years). I got an academic discount on it which resulted in it being as cheap as Windows Desktop Search... Archivarius is very good and probably what I'd recommend in your situation.
  Are you saying that dtSearch offers academic pricing?  I don't see it on their site.

And yes, I too, have been searching for a good option here.  Was heart-broken when Google Desktop died.   

IainB

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Re: I spy...with my little eye...on my hard drive...
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2012, 10:47:25 PM »
I'm very interested in this discussion.
Desktop or NAS/Network, index/search seems to be a perennial problem.

I too was desolé when Google Desktop Search (GDS) was killed off by Google.
I have found nothing to replace it. It's departure has left a vacuum.
At one time GDS could find pretty much everything,. including inside archived files, Gmail, Outlook, and your other PCs.
Mind-blowingly powerful search of the virtual unified desktop - cloud and client-based. But then, because cosporate users raised objections, Google started to lop off its limbs.
It was always in ß, sometimes locked up the CPU or needed to have its indexing restarted from scratch to work around some internal bug.
But nothing else quite like it.

On the other hand, where search should arguably been one of its strongest features, Microsoft Windows indexing/search was a singular weakness. Whether it even did what it was designed to do was not the issue - it never worked effectively/efficiently in XP - it was simply infeasible. It was such a resource hog that it was the first thing you had to turn off to restore your computer's performance potential.
Then, in Win7 it began to look as though Microsoft Windows indexing/search had finally been rebuilt using modern technology. Oops, wrong. It starts off really well, but then, after a while, you can't find those files that you know you have and which were originally showing up in searches. What gives?
Microsoft seems to be silent other than offering the useless suggestion that you reset your settings or rebuild the probably corrupted index. The thing is, it shouldn't be failing so easily in the first place. Not fit for purpose.

What are/were the options for search?
Just to kick things off, I put up this list here at EditPad: Summary of Search Tools

It's open to public use (read/write access).

Might this be of use as a running tally of what we know about the various search software for this discussion? Update it as you see fit.
I am also looking elsewhere (e.g., incl. Wikipedia) for a summary of search tools that we might be able to add to the discussion.

Armando

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Re: I spy...with my little eye...on my hard drive...
« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2012, 11:16:43 PM »
My set up is similar to Darwin and Tranglos.

- Everything/farr (plugin) for quick filename searching.

- Windows Search/farr (plugin) for Outlook stuff (contacts, emails, etc.)

- Archivarius for file content. I found that Archivarius to be the most reliable of the bunch (Google Desktop Search included). Plus it's cheap... But development is on the slow side (only thing that happened in the last 4 years : more file types were added to the indexing engine capabilities -- it's a good thing, but a few GUI improvement here and there would also be good... Not to mention better Outlook indexing.)

If you read around DC, you'll see that I did extensive testing (Darwin and others did too) a few years ago. One thing I found out is that no other indexer than Archivarius could reliably index ALL pages of huge documents (1000s of pages) + index comments in Word documents and pdf files, which can be very important/useful if you're a researcher.

- Archivarius for filename search on network/removable disks... However, rarely used here.

Armando

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Re: I spy...with my little eye...on my hard drive...
« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2012, 11:25:18 PM »
Sorry, couldn't help it.

Spoiler
My test for huge documents has always been this weird book called Spinbitz. What a book. Never read it, but the title is fantastic.  ;D


superboyac

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Re: I spy...with my little eye...on my hard drive...
« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2012, 11:54:34 PM »
i agree with those here using the combination-software setup.  It's funny, the DC community here has really fallen in love with Everything and Locate32.  I'm one of them...and I think we know what we're talking about here.   :Thmbsup:

Anyway, I've been around and around on the desktop search issues over the years.  And you guys know how unreasonably picky I am.

Windows Desktop Search:
I used this at work for a while because we use Outlook and it keeps nagging you for installing it if you don't turn it off.  Anyway, it's decent, but nothing spectacular.  Not the most flexible application in the world.  I never had a real problem with it other than I was just not all that impressed.

Google Desktop:
I've only used this a couple of times.  Again, not terribly impressed by it.  I also don't like personally using too many google software unless they are really great (gmail, sketchup, earth) because google is too big for my comfort.  I don't necessarily think google is a bad guy, I actually have no reason to think that yet, but their size just makes me want to avoid them if I can help it.  Anyway, I've never really given GDS a fair shot, but from what I saw...meh.

DTsearch:
Awesome!!  Love it.  Expensive.  It's a little too intense for casual use.  But if you want features, power, or just to get it to work exactly the way you want it to, this is the one.

Archivarius:
This is the best bang for the buck.  For most users I would recommend this one.  It's fantastic, it's lightweight, it can probably read more file types than anything out there.  It's relatively cheap, but not free like the others.  Still, they deserve a little money for how nice it is.  I rely on this one for my personal business.  The only obvious downside to it is that it shows all document contents, including emails, in plain text, so the previews can be a little frustrating to read (like html emails).  But I got used to it pretty quickly.  What I really like about it is how fast and responsive it is.  WDS and GDS are very sluggish compared to it.  The Archivarius guys are good guys, I would say our community here would welcome them with wide open arms.


Ian, I didn't realize GDS was killed.  That's very interesting.  It's interesting that the company that is THE search company discontinued its personal search tool.  Not a good feeling for me.  If anybody can make a dynamite personal search tool, it's Google.  They have all the right algorithms and resources.  So killing off that product is a little suspicious.  They probably just don't want anything to do with desktop tools if they can help it.  They want to go all cloud.  I hope they never get rid of their pop3 email feature, or google earth, or sketchup as desktop tools.

Armando

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Re: I spy...with my little eye...on my hard drive...
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2012, 12:40:01 AM »
DTsearch:
Awesome!!  Love it.  Expensive.  It's a little too intense for casual use.  But if you want features, power, or just to get it to work exactly the way you want it to, this is the one.

In 2008, DTSearch didn't index MS Word or pdf comments (see my post above and that). But Archivarius does.
So, IMO, in terms of reliability, Archivarius wins the content indexing contest... What good is a content indexer if it misses some of it ?

superboyac

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Re: I spy...with my little eye...on my hard drive...
« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2012, 01:11:26 AM »
DTsearch:
Awesome!!  Love it.  Expensive.  It's a little too intense for casual use.  But if you want features, power, or just to get it to work exactly the way you want it to, this is the one.

In 2008, DTSearch didn't index MS Word or pdf comments (see my post above and that). But Archivarius does.
So, IMO, in terms of reliability, Archivarius wins the content indexing contest... What good is a content indexer if it misses some of it ?
Very true.  I don't really recommend DTSearch for most people at all.  The only time I came around to DT was when I was trying to do a very particular search...like fancy regex type of issues.  It was more for the excercise of it than anything else.  But Archivarius, I use that every single day.

lanux128

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Re: I spy...with my little eye...on my hard drive...
« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2012, 03:05:42 AM »
to OP, you might be interested in what one of our member came up with, Locate32 Live Search.

http://www.donationc...ex.php?topic=28248.0

iphigenie

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Re: I spy...with my little eye...on my hard drive...
« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2012, 10:35:19 AM »
For very simple file/content search i use total commander

For more advanced needs I have just recently got a project that needs me to search a lot in documents, so had that need again.

I tried archivarius but I struggled with the way it presents the results. I have to search several hundred times in a pot of documents to find date/price of purchase of something. Might be in a spreadsheet, might be in a pdf or a letter. I would have loved it if archivarius showed me just enough of the results that I didnt need to open the document. Also had a lot of stuff indexed I didnt want indexed, it's almost too good and sees too many things. Instead of spending the time to tweak the config, i went to look for something less powerful that would work out of the box for my needs

Right now I found docfetcher, http://docfetcher.so...ge.net/en/index.html , an open source beta tool. It does less document types and is more focused in searching through defined sets than all your documents, but it's quite useful. If it stays useful through this it will get my February project donation, else I'll go give archivarius another try.

MerleOne

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Re: I spy...with my little eye...on my hard drive...
« Reply #12 on: February 19, 2012, 10:47:24 AM »
...

So does anyone know of any other desktop search programs than can index network shares that won't cost an arm and a leg? A modern interface that shows file previews & doesn't look like it was programmed for Windows For Workgroups would be a major plus.


Did you try lookout v 1.30 you can still find as a freeware (Apache License) here and there on the net.  Microsoft bought the technology and integrated it (supposedly) in Desktop Search, the main difference is that the original version works much better and is not bloated.  It's mainly built to index outlook messages but it also indexes regular files (including office format, up to 2003 at least).  I would give it a go.
.merle1.

tranglos

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Re: I spy...with my little eye...on my hard drive...
« Reply #13 on: February 19, 2012, 10:50:00 AM »
Warning: this post is entirely off-topic. It's all Armando's fault!

Sorry, couldn't help it.

OMG, Armando! What have you done? The blurb goes like this:

Quote
SpinbitZ is a philosophy of vision-logic interfaces for the percept-based illumination of abstract concepts. In tracing a nondual thread of rationality to its pre-Socratic roots, we find the axis-mundi hidden within Zeno’s paradox, and within nondual rationality. With the help of a hundred illustrations, we trace this embryogenesis of rationality, as it reconnects to the alternative lineage of Deleuze, with a nondual fusion of Spinoza and Leibniz. We also find that mathematics mirrors this embryogenesis and holarchical structure. Interface Mathematics transitions from the “oppositional forces” of dualism, ultimately again to the “intensive” truths of the nondual. In making mathematics visible and understandable, the two fundamental axes of conceptual thought are shown. Spinoza’s “three infinities” are then seen as the triune interface between these axes, for illuminating and reconciling the many paradoxes of infinity as they wind their way into the truths of modern mathematics. See print book.

I burst out laughing four lines into the paragraph. Seeing as this is a free ebook of 750 pages, I was convinced this was a machine-generated text, from  something like this maybe, published with a cover and all the accoutrements as a proof-of-concept for Lulu. Hey, one of the first apps I ever wrote was a haiku generator, so my perception is colored that way. Back in the 90s machine-generated fake po-mo treatises were somehow big on (what passed for) the web back then.

So I downloaded the book to check it out and... that was when I stopped laughing. Man, I don't think it is fake! Or machine-generated. It seems quite real indeed. Amazon sells it (not a single review). It has a homepage with more blurbs and recommendations from authors of similar - um, texts. Scroll to any random page, and it goes like

Quote
The uni-axis is thus the omni-non of extension with its polarity and cultivated third between omni-extension in the ONE and the non-extension of an immanent singularity at one Euclidean point. An interesting feature, therefore, shared between the infinite I/T uni-axes, and the one omni-axis which they compose, is that they ALL converge and overlap at the transcendent pole of the ONE. At the same time, however, the immanent poles of any two selected uni-axes, at whatever scale you may choose, are  separated by an “infinite number” of other uni-axial singularities (see Figure 8-A below).ii*

Yes, that's a footnote and an asterisk. I thought James Joyce was dense. James Joyce couldn't wipe this guy's glasses! And, this is Volume I. No kidding. Therefore...

I am officially demoting myself to a lower species.

Way lower, somewhere half-way down the food chain. Specimen who write, edit, read and discuss a body of text like this are not the same species as me. Not even the same family. Next to this, I'm somewhere between lichen and, dunno, Pleurodelinae maybe.

This book is either a work of some cosmic genius (distributed for free on the net, the default channel for all the works of cosmic genius), or it is a new Principia Discordia for our new post-semiotic age. Or "age".

Excuse me while I slither into a dark corner of my cave and try banging a couple of rocks together. Gotta start somewhere! See Figure 1-a.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2012, 11:01:38 AM by tranglos »

Armando

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Re: I spy...with my little eye...on my hard drive...
« Reply #14 on: February 19, 2012, 11:04:00 AM »
@tranglos : hehe. Yup, quite a book. It is "real". I'd say it probably belongs to "Transgressing the Boundaries: Toward a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity" 's *** category of book. Life is too short to really find out though, so I decided to just use the book as desktop search software test tool. My apologies to the author. :)

(I belong to that lower species too.)


I tried archivarius but I struggled with the way it presents the results. I have to search several hundred times in a pot of documents to find date/price of purchase of something. Might be in a spreadsheet, might be in a pdf or a letter. I would have loved it if archivarius showed me just enough of the results that I didnt need to open the document.

Archivarius isn't perfect, but I never got the problem you describe : you can filter results by documents types, name, see the excerpts containing what you're searching instead of the full text, etc. which is very convenient. That said, IMO the best implementation of filtering is in X1 through columns and Boolean operators.

tranglos

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Re: I spy...with my little eye...on my hard drive...
« Reply #15 on: February 19, 2012, 11:07:52 AM »
so I decided to just use the book as desktop search software test tool. My apologies to the author. :)

That is certainly one use for it!